Dove’s Image_Hack Aims to Create a New Perception of Women

In a world where images of highly objectified and sexualised women are prevalent, many women have raised their objections but few major corporations have challenged the status quo. Nonetheless, there are few who are willing to do so and have already done so – namely Dove together with Danish marketing agency, Mindshare.

The idea for the campaign came up after Dove’s Global Beauty and Confidence Report showed that women didn’t feel confident or adequately represented in the images or ads they saw. As such, they came up with a solution, or a ‘hack’ and this case, it’s an “Image_Hack”. The campaign was bold and challenged the stereotypical images associated with the term “Beautiful Women”.

Mindshare and Dove decided to take matters into their hands and devised a plan to “hack” one of the most visited stock image sites – Shutterstock. To do this, they first went around taking multiple photos of women in different activities, showcasing how truly beautiful they are no matter how they looked or what they were doing.

The next step after that was getting their images to overtake the stock site’s influx of “beautiful” women pick. They uploaded their images and tagged them in a way that they’d be what people see when searching for tags such as “beautiful women” and “smart women”.

They didn’t stop there though. To make sure that the public were able to see these images, they allowed companies to use whatever images they wanted to use for their campaigns (and there are some cute ones too) royalty-free. They also set up a series of ads in Denmark (the country Mindshare is in) in front of famous company buildings to give more exposure.

The ads became a big hit in Denmark, with over 1,762 images downloaded and in use by influential companies. It’s clear that the campaign was a great success and this really paves the way for how females are portrayed in advertisements.

One such image used in an ice-cream ad

None of this is new for Dove, however. Most people may know the company for its beauty products, but this isn’t the first time it’s tried its hand at encouraging and empowering women in a series of body positive marketing campaigns worldwide.

For example, Dove made an ad called “You’re More Beautiful than You Think” years ago, where people of all shapes and sizes were sketched by a former police sketch artist based on what their personal self image. Those same individuals were then made to talk to each other and were drawn again, this time by the person they had spoken to. The result was that their personal images were often a lot less beautiful than those perceived by others, going to show that we are often our worst critic.

It’s great that Dove is paving the way for more body positive ad campaigns and we applaud them for their efforts. We hope that in time, more companies will follow suit and soon we can all realise that there’s more than one definition of ‘beautiful’.


Photo Credits: Adweek

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